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PETA organizes protest against Glendale's elephant Rose Parade float design

August 30, 2011|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
(Tim Berger, Staff…)

Cars honked Tuesday night as a handful of people stood near City Hall protesting Glendale's circus elephant-themed float for the Tournament of Roses Parade.

The protest, organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s Los Angeles chapter, comes after Glendale City Council members received emails from across the country from people concerned about the float, which features a circus elephant as part of a carriage.

The council approved the float last week, but construction had already begun after the design was green-lighted by the Glendale Rose Float Assn. City officials said last week that although there have been issues with the design, it was too late to turn back.

But that didn't stop protesters, who held signs before the City Council meeting that read "Sink  the Circus Float" and "Circuses Are No Fun for Animals" in calling on the city to scrap the float design.

"I would like them to get a new float," said Sharon Nasella, a Glendale resident, adding that she wants the design review process to get a revamp.

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Council members asked city officials last week to come up with alternatives to the float selection process. The design has historically been selected by the Rose Float Assn., but some officials asked for that responsibility be transferred to the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. In addition to the design controversy, the float also encumbered fundraising issues and was saved largely by major donations from business owners.

Matt Bruce, an assistant campaigner for PETA, said the organization hasn’t protested other floats for the upcoming Rose Parade, which features the "Just Imagine" theme.

"We're hoping Glendale does what they can to stop the float," Bruce said. "If they don't, we'll have to be back."

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